Howard Springs model is much more suitable

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Howard Springs model is much more suitable

Hotels are not suited for quarantine centres. Howard Springs in the Northern Territory is much more suitable because people have access to fresh air in which they can exercise.

A simple solution for states is to set up caravan park-type accommodation with individual cabins with an en suite and an outside area such as a small covered balcony so people can get some fresh air. If these can be placed close to major airports, all
the better.

Once the pandemic is over, they could be purchased by the public and relocated to wherever they are needed.
Paul Chivers, Box Hill North

Thank goodness for the grapevine
There’s a tone of rebuke in the language used by the state’s COVID-19 logistics chief, Jeroen Weimar, when he urged older Victorians to to get vaccinated (“Over 70s told: ‘It is your duty’ to get jab”, The Sunday Age, 25/4).

In fact, the blockage lies elsewhere. Just as front-line GPs and pharmacists have been left out of the loop, so citizens have waited their turn and for advice that never came. I googled the hotline in mid March, chose a provider and telephoned for an appointment. A harassed receptionist asked me to email, which I did, so far without response.

Luckily, a month ago, I was texted a tip from a friend, who advised me to ring the hotline for an appointment at the Convention Centre. So the next day, on March 28, I received the first vaccination at a well-staffed, largely deserted and poorly signposted auditorium.

The vaccination rollout is a case study in the underfunding of public health and the resulting web of contracted private agencies whose duties are to perform aspects of the exercise.

Public information has gone missing. Fortunately, we still have the grapevine.
Angela Munro, Carlton North

The hotel model has failed us time and time again
What on earth will it take for the authorities to stop using hotel quarantine and organise dedicated facilities?

It has been proven time and time again hotel quarantine is a failure.
Doug Springall, Yarragon

Five weeks of effort and still not vaccinated
I am over 70 and have been trying to get a COVID-19 vaccine for the past five weeks. Each place I have rung has told me ″⁣we have no vaccines″⁣ or ″⁣we are full and not taking any more appointments″⁣.

My efforts culminated last Friday when I rang Austin Health to make an appointment at the new maximum vaccination hub in Heidelberg. I was on the phone for 20 minutes waiting until the recorded message eventually told me to push 1 and hang up if I want a return call. That was 10am on Friday and I have had no return call as of 10am on Sunday.

No lack of trying on my part and I am sure that there are many others with the same story.
Phil Mackenzie, Eaglemont

Wrong and inequitable
We are all so very thankful that things are getting back to normal after COVID-19 first hit and there are now no restrictions on seated entertainment venues with a capacity of no more than 1000 people. So, if there’s a theatre or concert hall with 1000 seats, then 1000 people can go in there.

However, here is the rub – if a faith denomination meets for a service under the current physical distancing rules then, by my calculations, only 380 seats may be used out of 1000 available.

This seems wrong and very inequitable and no matter the religion, the matter should be corrected now.
Steve Polgar, Blackburn


Here’s how to cut costs
Jewel Topsfield’s article (“NDIS architect slams ‘formula’ cost cutting”, The Age, 24/4) exposes the independent review of NDIS participants for what it is, a cost-cutting exercise.

As a participant myself I have been shocked and very disappointed at the rorting of the system by the service providers approved by the NDIS.

My requests for yard maintenance from a number of these providers have been met by a range of suspicious responses ranging from inquiries about how much funding I have been allocated to quotes as high as $2000 to clean the spouting on my small, single-storey home. When changing my plan to self-managed I was able to engage a contractor not approved by the NDIS who completed the task for $150.

I would suggest a very effective way of cutting costs would be closer or at least some oversight of the prices charged by these providers.
Les Ismail, Mill Park

Where can they play?
Helen Pereira’s letter (“Are we building the slums of the future?”, 24/4) raises important questions about the flaws in our planning approvals for new housing. The cramming of buildings onto every square inch of land not only reduces amenities such as shade but has made backyards things of the past.

Where are children to play? Where will the trampoline fit, or the backyard cricket take place? This congested housing is seriously restricting children’s access to outdoor play, condemning them to indoor activities such as already overused electronic devices.

Local councils and state planning authorities would do well to consult landscape architects and children’s play specialists, before giving in to greed and soulless construction.
Gwenda Davey, Burwood East

It’s time to start lifting
Joe Hockey proclaimed in May 2014 that “We are a nation of lifters, not leaners”. Since then, in the battle with climate change, this government has leaned ever heavily on others – starting with its abolition of the carbon tax.

It now claims credit for emission reductions that Australia has achieved, overlooking the fact that these reductions result from steps taken by states, by businesses, and by individuals who have taken up solar power and other forms of renewable energy in the face of federal government inaction.

With universal consensus that the world must address global warming urgently, this government’s dogged intransigence places our economy – indeed our continued existence – at great risk. Prime Minister, it’s time to start lifting.
Chris Young, Surrey Hills

Moving the goalposts
I support Alan Boltman’s suggestion (Letters, 22/4) to marginally increase the size of soccer goals. In addition to the rationale that he outlined, the resultant increase in the number of goals would mean that fewer games are decided by the referee’s whistle.

Furthermore, the reduction in the value of any single goal would lower the impetus to ″⁣dive″⁣ in an attempt to win a penalty kick – a major scourge on the current game.

While they’re at it, they could move the spot from which penalty kicks are taken further back to give the goalie a realistic chance of making a save.
David Olive, Kensington

It’s all part of driving
Correspondents (Letters, 24/4) opining about the difficulty of driving ring alarms bells, but don’t surprise, as it is reflected on our roads daily. Seemingly inappropriate speed changes can cause frustration, but driving is all about adjusting in dynamic situations, scanning for pedestrians, erratic driving and doing all that while, yes, watching the road.

If one finds it “impossible to maintain the under 40 speed limit” while adapting to continually changing road conditions in a safe manner, then, for everyone’s sake, it’s time to hand in the licence.
Peter McGill, Lancefield

Our attitude must evolve
I was deeply moved on reading Nyadol Nyuon’s article (“A verdict’s tears – and resolve”, Comment, 24/4). Sadly, this type of crime will not end with this guilty verdict

Coloured skin will continue to be a legitimate target for a policeman’s gun or arrest in the US and even here. A “coloured person is presumed guilty until proven innocent” is an oft-repeated expression among people of colour. How else can we explain the disproportionate number of black people including young children in the nation’s prisons?

In general, a person of colour is not trusted in a white society. As a coloured person, I did not feel trusted in my own working life. I felt I was regarded with suspicion, and struggled for recognition in a world where the superiority of whites was assumed although expressed with subtlety.

All Western countries, including Australia, must learn to outgrow their inbuilt belief in the superiority of a white skin. Australia’s attitude on race must evolve if we hope to thrive in harmony as a nation in which neither white nor black seeks domination but both recognise their common humanity. Only then can Australia aspire to be respected in the world.
Bill Mathew, Parkville

Inspiring and intelligent
What an inspiring and intelligent columnist Nyadol Nyuon is. In her recent articles (“Your world, and peace, was never mine”, Comment, 10/4, “A verdict’s tears – and resolve”, Comment, 24/4) she has made two points in particular strongly and eloquently.

People do have a right to free speech but they do not have a right to be protected from the consequences of their speech, and, when nothing seems to address a wounding experience, one feels unseen. It is this not being seen, even as you cry out in anguish and despair, that leads to the proclamation Black Lives Matter.

When discussing contemporary racism in Australia, Nyadol’s comment “We do not choose our times, whether we like it or not, the only choice is how to face them” addresses precisely what is lacking from our current federal leadership on this issue.
John White, Burwood East

That would be me
Our Prime Minister has pegged me perfectly. I love hanging around in inner-city wine bars talking about, well, stuff …

I really don’t understand how Mr Morrison thinks that driving a wedge between country and city voters will work to his advantage. Country folk, particularly farmers, are acutely aware of the effect that climate change is having on their environment and their livelihoods.

Please get out in front and lead us rather than being dragged kicking and screaming behind business and the community.
Until then I suppose I’ll just have to continue to support our farmers one glass at a time.
Leo Boesten, Melbourne

This is a good thing
Parnell Palme McGuinness asks “in the age of corporate activism, does democracy as we celebrate it, still have a chance?” (“Corporate activism imperils democracy”, Comment, 24/4).

Corporations drawing attention to practices that aim to disenfranchise a section of the population from easily voting, due to the myth of widespread voter fraud, is surely a good thing isn’t it? Ask yourself, would Georgia have introduced these laws if the Republicans had won the state? No, of course not, they wouldn’t have needed to. But they lost so they did.

Bravo to the corporations using their voice to take a stand against this hypocrisy.
Samantha Keir, Brighton East

The writing’s on the wall
The headline “Heavy industry moves ahead on climate goals” (The Age, 24/4) says it all. It has ″⁣moved ahead″⁣ of the federal government’s inadequate targets on emissions reduction. We as a nation look to the federal government to protect our interests when we are threatened and rely on it to make tough decisions when required.

If Fortescue, BHP, Rio Tinto, AGL, Visy and others can determine that it is pragmatic to meet or exceed globally determined targets then the writing is on the wall for the federal government. Our government needs to show leadership on the issue of global warming instead of dodging it as it has done for a number of years.
Jane Robins, Moonee Ponds

Tap into this resource
As a practising child and adolescent psychologist, I am extremely concerned about the state of mental health provision in Australia for our young people. Almost all my colleagues have closed books and the system is near collapse.

I applaud and approve of the recommendations made by the Victorian Mental Health Royal Commission but action is needed nationally now. The federal government could address the supply and demand issue immediately by making the services of Australia’s more than 5000 provisional psychologists rebatable on Medicare.

Provisional psychologists have had five years’ training and are in the final stages of their education and with supervision, are capable and ready to help – but cannot be used effectively if they are not funded appropriately.
Michael Carr-Gregg, child, adolescent and family psychologist, Balwyn

It won’t work with China
History tells us that every time there is the rise and decline of a globally dominant power, such as is now occurring with the decline of the United States and rise of China, there are wars.

We are, however, not prisoners of history. We can and must avoid wars with China in the decades ahead. If our new Defence Minister, Peter Dutton, wants to contribute positively to avoiding such war, it would be helpful to stop the sabre-rattling comments he has been indulging in in recent days.

Mr Dutton’s brand of macho ego and posturing might have worked against refugees in boats, it is likely to be neither credible nor effective in dealings with China.
Stewart Sweeney, North Adelaide, SA


Electric vehicles
It is idiocy to tax electric vehicles; it would be like taxing ex-smokers because they no longer pay tax on cigarettes.
Carmel McNaught, Balwyn North

Climate change
Is Scott Morrison hoping that his cool reception at the climate summit will be enough for a warming planet?
Brian Fuller, West Launceston, Tas.

When JFK set the target of landing a man on the moon within a decade, the technology did not exist. The target drove the rapid development of the technology.
Gretel Lamont, Aireys Inlet

What would Scott Morrison say if his beloved Sharks aimed to win another premiership sometime, and ″⁣preferably″⁣ by 2050?
Bernd Rieve, Brighton

All Joe Biden needs to do is to declare a war on greenhouse gas emissions and Australia would be with him in a heartbeat.
Nick Barton, Hillside

Technology not targets, says the Prime Minister. Alliteration without action, more like it.
Patrick Connelly, Warrnambool

Leunig inspiration
Can’t wait to sport a Leunig-inspired ″⁣Curly Flat teapot″⁣ on my head (Spectrum, 24/4). Already halfway there: Short and stout.
Tris Raouf, Hadfield

Hotel quarantine
Remember when cruise ships were called petrie dishes? It seems quarantine hotels fit the bill as well; get them out of cities and into areas where people can breathe fresh air.
Lesley Black, Frankston

Now that US President Joe Biden has recognised the massacres of Armenians by the Ottoman Turks as genocide, I hope our Prime Minister will do the same.
Nadia Wright, Middle Park

I am loosening the seal on my Melbourne 1964 premiership port in anticipation of a good year.
Alan Inchley, Frankston

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